As of a few days ago, I’ve been writing about wine for 14 years — just about all of that focused on New York and Long Island wine. Perhaps not surprisingly, I tend to reminisce every time the anniversary passes.
When I first visited Long Island Wine Country just a few weeks after moving here for a job almost two decades ago, I wasn’t long out of graduate school. I guess you could call me a wine drinker at the time, mostly because I thought it was a grown-up alternative to cheap beer. But like many underemployed grad students, I mostly drank cheap stuff: stuff that I now know was probably factory-made and definitely wasn’t very good. I remember drinking a lot of Australian wine with animals on the label. Blue Marlin Chardonnay was a favorite. I had very little experience with Old World wines, save beaujolais nouveau at Thanksgiving — another wine I know better than to drink today. (more…)
For all of Long Island wine’s diversity, both in grapes and in styles, it’s rare that you find a red wine that can be considered jammy — that sensation of syrupy macerated or cooked fruit that is perhaps most apparent in Australian Shiraz and California Zinfandel. (more…)
In the vineyard, Pinot Blanc bears a strong resemblance to Chardonnay. In fact, its leaf structure, clusters and berries so resemble those of Chardonnay that there are many vineyards in Europe where plantings of the two grapes are intermingled. (more…)
Columnist Lenn Thompson, second from right, at a panel at the USBevX 2018 conference.
If you’re a regular reader of this column, you might remember that one of my wine-related resolutions for 2018 was to do more speaking gigs to help spread the gospel of East Coast and, specifically, Long Island wine. Well, a couple weeks ago my family and I traveled to Washington, D.C., during the winter break. While most of our time was spent doing the typical touristy things — the memorials, the museums and the zoo — I spent half a day at USBevX 2018, a conference dedicated to “helping drive the quality reputation for Eastern and Midwest wine and beverage producers.”
A bottle of L’Orange, the latest from Martha Clara Vineyards. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)
Don’t let the name of this week’s Wine of the Week — Martha Clara Vineyards 2015 L’Orange ($28) — confuse you. Yes the wine is a coppery orange, but it’s not made from oranges. It’s 100 percent grapes grown in Martha Clara’s estate vineyards. The blend is 45 percent Chardonnay, 30 percent Pinot Grigio, 15 percent Gewurztraminer and 10 percent Viognier. (more…)